GEORGETOWN, Guyana A ship carrying five American oil workers is expected to touch shore in the coming hours after Venezuela intercepted the U.S.-chartered vessel in disputed waters off the coast of Guyana, a move that threatens to revive a decades-old territorial dispute between South America´s biggest oil producer and one of the region´s poorest nations. The 285-foot survey research vessel, sailing under a Panamanian flag, was conducting a seismic study under contract for Anadarko Petroleum Corp. on Thursday when it was detained by an armed Venezuelan navy vessel and ordered to sail under escort to Margarita Island, which is part of
Comments: Taken by force from Guyanese waters. Dragooned over to another country, Venezuela, against their will. This is piracy. Watch Obama ignore it.
More news on the Celebrities Who Perform For Dictators Beat! I wish this beat did not exist, but as long as celebrities insist on performing for dictators and plutocrat presidents-for-life, we are stuck. Please, celebrities, stop doing this! Latest on the list? Mariah Carey. In 2009, she serenaded Col. Moammar Gaddafi of Libya. More recently, she was in Angola, performing at what must have been one of the less cost-effective Red Cross benefit concerts ever, when you contrast her performance fee with the amount of funds it raised. Mariah Carey performed at a benefit last weekend for the Angolan Red Cross — raising
Friends, relatives and business associates of Tajikistan´s president are driving around in cars stolen off Germany´s streets, according to the German government. German authorities have been attempting to raise the issue with Tajik officials since at least May, they confirmed Thursday after a German tabloid broke the story. It is unclear from reports whether President Imomali Rakhmon is suspected of personally driving a stolen German car. But German investigators have reportedly traced about 200 stolen luxury cars, including 93 BMWs, to members of Rakhmon´s inner circle and associates of his family. Berlin´s regional justice minister raised the issue with the German foreign
The health secretary of the state of Miranda, Gustavo Villasmil, reported on Friday on the first case of malaria in 25 years in Barlovento. "It is a 31-year-old female patient residing in a community called Brión Avanza in the municipality of Brión." Villasmil claimed that the case has no direct relation with the outbreak in the rest of the country. "We are aware of the malaria cases in the states of Sucre, Bolívar, Anzoátegui, southern Monagas, Zulia, and Táchira. However, this patient has not come out of the state. So we may say that the disease was contracted in the community..."
When Congressman Dana Tyrone Rohrabacher moved into a four-bedroom, four-bathroom, million-dollar Costa Mesa rental home on April Fool´s Day 2010, the immaculate, 6,300-square-foot property could have been featured in a glossy real-estate magazine. Built in 1948, the two-story, Orange Avenue home had been updated in recent years for comfort and style. The carpeting was new, appliances worked and walls were spotless. Thriving flowers, plants and grass adorned the idyllic back yard less than 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. But it´s now understandable why Orange County´s senior, career politician secretly changed the locks and refused to allow homeowner Robert Polyniak inside
Geopolitics: Russia´s Vladimir Putin bought himself a country this week, handing out a $15 billion bailout with cheap gas on the side to Ukraine to keep it out of a trade pact with the European Union. No, it won´t work. There was no doubt cash-strapped Ukraine was going to get the $15 billion it needed to make it through the winter. With foreign reserves below $19 billion, it needed cash from somewhere, or it would become the next Greece. The International Monetary Fund and the European Union had been working on a bailout package for the cash-strapped state, and had it nearly
NEW DELHI -- Indian protesters ransacked a Dominos Pizza outlet in a Mumbai suburb on Friday, demanding a ban on U.S. goods as officials from the two countries struggled to defuse a row over the arrest of an Indian diplomat in New York. Police and the Indian franchise of the U.S. chain said no-one was hurt in the attack, which came amid unrelenting rage in India over the arrest and subsequent strip-search of Devyani Khobragade for visa fraud and under-payment of her housekeeper. India has demanded that the charges be dropped against the diplomat and her father threatened to start a fast
Argentina on Thursday threatened to nationalize utility companies Edenor and Edesur after power outages left large areas of the capital Buenos Aires and surrounding suburbs in the dark, just ahead of the austral summer. “If they are not willing to give people the service they deserve, we will be willing to take over that service,” said cabinet chief Jorge Capitanich. Edesur is controlled by Endesa SA, a subsidiary of Italy´s biggest utility, Enel SpA. Edenor is owned by the Argentine company Pampa Energia . Shares of Edenor ended 15.1% lower at 2.3 Pesos in Buenos Aires on Thursday. The government of President
Alarming levels of corruption in government, the judiciary and law enforcement, earned Mexico the 2013 title of one of the two most corrupt countries in Latin America, according to the Global Corruption Barometer released in July by Transparency International, an anti-corruption non-profit group. Mexico shares its rank with Argentina. In the group´s Global Corruption Barometer of 2013, Mexico´s political parties, police, legislature and judiciary were perceived as the most corrupt, with 91%, 90%, 83% and 80% negative views on corruption. The report, which is based on a survey of 114,000 people in 107 countries, offers a warning that the abuse
Is Vladimir Putin a paleoconservative? In the culture war for mankind´s future, is he one of us? While such a question may be blasphemous in Western circles, consider the content of the Russian president´s state of the nation address. With America clearly in mind, Putin declared, "In many countries today, moral and ethical norms are being reconsidered." "They´re now requiring not only the proper acknowledgment of freedom of conscience, political views and private life, but also the mandatory acknowledgment of the equality of good and evil." Translation: While privacy and freedom of thought, religion and speech are cherished rights, to
The rumors are true: George Zimmerman is a painter now. And his first creation, which was listed on EBay this week, has sparked a bidding war that has pushed its price up from a starting point of $0.99 to almost $100,000 as of Tuesday morning. It´s a blue American flag featuring part of the Pledge of Allegiance. "Everyone has been asking what I have been doing with myself," the EBay posting from user therealgeorgez reads. "I found a creative, way to express myself, my emotions and the symbols that represent my experiences. My art work allows me to reflect, providing
The problem with ObamaCare is not that it is poorly designed or sloppily implemented. The problem is in the nature of things: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as it has been envisaged, is inherently impossible. To see this, forget ObamaCare for the moment. Think health care in general. Health care can be many things for many people: It can be universal (extended to all people) or selective (available to some people). It can be comprehensive (covers all conditions and cures at any age) or rationed. It can be affordable or prohibitively expensive. But there is one thing that a health care system
Leftism: Chile has long been a global model of free-market economics. But on Sunday, it elected socialist Michelle Bachelet, who ran on a platform of tax hikes and "free" education. What drives a country to reject success? Bachelet took an astonishing 62% of the vote against her more conservative rival, Evelyn Matthei, who drew just 38%. It wasn´t entirely surprising: Bachelet projected a cheery, confident, maternal demeanor and made few gaffes, quite unlike the less polished Matthei. She also had a good record: As president from 2006 to 2010, she left office with a phenomenal 84% popularity rating — in part, because she
For a few hours, it looked like Americans would quietly accept the suspension of popular “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for his unfiltered opinions about sin, sex, gays and blacks in a magazine interview. But then, as if on cue, hundreds of thousands of fans of the openly Christian, duck-hunting businessman took to social networks and started their backlash. As of Thursday night, more than 1.1 million people “liked” the “Stand With Phil Robertson” Facebook page, while about the same number had clicked their support for another Facebook page called “Boycott A&E Until Phil Robertson Is Put Back On Duck
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was hospitalized early Friday morning as a “precaution” after feeling ill, a spokesman said, adding that doctors concluded "everything is normal" after testing. “Early this morning, Senator Reid was not feeling well and as a precaution decided to go to the hospital. Tests have been conducted and everything is normal. He is alert, resting and feeling better,” spokesman Adam Jentleson said in a statement. "Doctors have asked that he remain in the hospital for observation so he will not be working today." The Senate is set to finish its business for the year on Friday.
Phil Robertson disrespected gay employees at A&E ... and THAT´S why he was sacked from "Duck Dynasty" ... sources connected with the network tell TMZ. We´re told A&E CEO Nancy Dubuc felt she could not in good conscience ask gay employees to kill themselves for a show when he disrespected them by calling them sinners. Our sources say ... gay employees involved in the production -- and there are a number of them -- were outraged by Phil´s comments to GQ and wanted Dubuc to give him the ax. We´re told Dubuc felt this way ... If Phil had made
The suspension of Phil Robertson from A&E’s Duck Dynasty is outrageous in a nation that values freedom, according to social critic and openly gay, dissident feminist Camille Paglia. “I speak with authority here, because I was openly gay before the ‘Stonewall rebellion,’ when it cost you something to be so. And I personally feel as a libertarian that people have the right to free thought and free speech,” Paglia, a professor at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, said on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Thursday. “In a democratic country, people have the right to be homophobic as well as they have
Restaurant chain Cracker Barrel posted Friday night on its Facebook page that it would no longer carry some Duck Dynasty merchandise after Phil Robertson, of the "Duck Commander" company and family, was suspended from the show. The statement reads: Cracker Barrel’s mission is Pleasing People. We operate within the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people. These ideals are the core of our corporate culture. We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores. We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation.
The Obama administration Thursday night significantly relaxed the rules of the health-care law for millions of consumers whose individual insurance policies have been canceled, saying they could buy bare-bones health plans or entirely avoid the requirement that most Americans have health insurance. The surprise announcement, four days before the Dec. 23 deadline for people to choose coverage that begins on Jan. 1, triggered an immediate backlash from the health insurance industry and raised new fairness questions about a law intended to promote affordable and comprehensive coverage. “This type of last-minute change will cause tremendous instability in the marketplace and lead
Over the last several weeks the Obama White House has been executing a media blitz meant to sell Obamacare to the nation—again. As the final maneuver in that plan, the President is releasing several reports on how Obamacare will affect the states. His message: repealing Obamacare will just be too expensive. "These state reports mark the culmination of a multi-week effort by the White House and supporters of reform to bring a renewed refocus on each of these benefits and what the cost of repealing them would mean," a White House official told reporters at The Hill. Obamacare supporters crafted these reports to
The wrecking ball swung again toward the crumbling Obamacare edifice yesterday. Ironically, it continues to be the Obama administration that is operating the heavy machinery. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced, in the form of a letter to Democratic senators, that Obamacare’s individual mandate tax will be waived in 2014 for persons who had their policies canceled in 2013 due to Obamacare. At this point, after months of on-the-fly pronouncements, delays, and exemptions (often announced, not coincidentally, in the days just before a major national holiday), perhaps nothing should surprise us anymore about Obamacare’s disastrous rollout. But yesterday’s announcement
Former “American Idol” contestant Clay Aiken offered his thoughts on the scandal surrounding “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson’s anti-gay comments on Thursday night, saying that such comments and attitudes are “built out of fear.” (Snip) “I think it certainly shows that we’ve got a long way to go when it comes to people being accepting and understanding,” Aiken, who came out as gay in 2008, said. “Homophobia, racism …. all of it’s built out of fear. All of it’s out of fear. And if you grow up in an area like Louisiana and you’re not exposed to diversity, then you
Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano has announced he is gay. Boitano´s personal news comes two days after the figure skater was named to the official United States 2014 Sochi Olympics delegation by President Obama. "While I am proud to play a public role in representing the American Olympic Delegation as a former Olympic athlete, I have always reserved my private life for my family and friends and will continue to do so," Boitano, 50, said in an official statement. (Snip) Boitano joins tennis player Billie Jean King and Olympic ice hockey bronze medalist Caitlin Cahow as the third openly gay athlete
On Friday at the White House, President Obama lashed out at ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl and Fox News’ Ed Henry, explaining that he was self-critical enough that he did not need to hear critical questions from the two of them. “It’s not that I don’t engage in a lot of self-reflection here,” he said in response to a question from Karl. “I promise I beat myself up even worse than you or Ed Henry does, on any given day, but I’ve also got to wake up in the morning and make sure that I do better the next day.” Obama’s
The Robertson family of "Duck Dynasty" fame has rallied around its patriarch, saying his controversial comments on homosexuality are "grounded in the teachings of the Bible." But Scripture is fiercely contested ground, and some experts say Phil Robertson misinterprets a key Bible verse. A&E, the network that broadcasts the hugely popular "Duck Dynasty" show, suspended Robertson for a now infamous interview with GQ magazine. In the article, Robertson, who became a born-again Christian in the 1970s after a prodigal youth, is asked to define "sin." Here´s what Robertson says: “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around